The moments captured in Michael P. Smith music photographs are as familiar to the people of New Orleans as they are enthralling to Jazz Fest visitors. Since the first edition of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival in 1970 until 2005, Smith documented the annual music, culinary and crafts bonanza that has become one of the city’s signature events, and his photographs annually line the Gospel, Blues, and Jazz tents, paying witness to past performances in those same tents. In fact, the visual iconography of Jazz Fest as a showcase for legendary musical performance must be at least partly credited to Smith’s images, which have been captured in two full-length Jazz Fest books that helped spread the word to fans around the world.
This exhibition will bring together one hundred twenty-five photographs taken at Jazz Fest during a twenty-five year period, from its inception in 1970 to 1995. All works come from the Michael P. Smith Archive of the Historic New Orleans Collection (HNOC), who have graciously lent objects from their collection, as well as allowing many new prints to be made of some Jazz Fest images that have never been exhibited. On view in the first floor galleries.
In addition, Beyond the Music, a corresponding exhibition, is on view through August 29 at The Historic New Orleans Collection, 533 Royal St. Beyond the Music (at HNOC) features over 80 Smith photographs that take viewers on a journey into the city’s spiritual churches, second lines, Mardi Gras Indians, social aid and pleasure clubs, and more.
Twenty-Five Jazz Fests is presented as part of In the Spirit: The Photography of Michael P. Smith from The Historic New Orleans Collection and is funded under a grant from the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Support also comes from the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Foundation, Inc.
(On view in the Lupin Foundation galleries.)
Gallery Hours: Thurs.-Sun. 11am – 4pm
Admission: FREE through July 12
For information, call (504) 528-3805
CAC’s display of Smith’s material is funded under a grant from the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Support also comes from the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Foundation, Inc. Foundation, Inc.